How Do People Use Bath Salt?
Bath salts are chemically similar to amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy). The drug is usually used as a cheaper and more readily available substitute for these stimulants or cocaine.
Bath salts are generally snorted or ingested. Other modes of administration include intramuscular or intravenous injection, rubbing the powder on the gums, inhalation and rectal administration.
Effects of Bath Salts
Bath salts are used because of their ability to produce a euphoric high. Bath salts tend to be very potent, and their effects are similar to those produced by high doses of amphetamines and cocaine. Bath salts are generally taken intranasally. Effects are seen after 10 to 20 minutes of the drug being used, reaching their peak in 45 to 90 minutes. Desirable effects of the drug include:
- Increased energy
- Decreased appetite
- Increased sociability, talkativeness and empathy
- Increased libido
Along with the above effects, someone who uses bath salts may feel adverse effects, including:
- Increased agitation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Blurred vision and dilated pupils
Frequently using the drug or using large amounts of it leads to toxic effects, due to the excessive activation of the nervous system. These effects include:
- Aggression and agitation
- Excited delirium involving violent and unpredictable behavior with the risk of harm to the user and others
- Psychosis involving hallucinations, paranoia and delusions
- Panic attacks
- Damage of skeletal muscle tissue
- Organ failure, including kidney and liver failure
- Cardiovascular symptoms involving high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, arrhythmias and myocarditis
Deaths have occurred due to the use of bath salts, mephedrone and MDPV. Although there are no studies on humans, a study conducted on rats shows that bath salts have effects on the brain that are similar to amphetamines. These effects negatively impact the functioning of serotonin neurons.